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Food for 7 days. Tight budget.

My girlfriend and I are two not-wealthy-at-all college students coming to NOLA from the Seattle area for Spring Break 2010.

We recently looked through Lonely Planet New Orleans and really couldn't find any restaurants that offer food for the budget conscious. I mean, even most po-boys and fried chicken places are at least $10 per person. We are kinda looking to spend $10 between the two of us for a meal. We don't have massive appetites. We've heard that most portions are big so we'd definitely be comfortable splitting entrees. Just that we can't find any places that suit our budget.

Cuisine-wise we are really into Southern Food, Amazing Barbecue (we're suckers for good ribs), Caribbean and Soul Food. We'd love to find a cheap crab or crawfish boil too. We don't want to stick to eating in the fancy tourist areas at all though we don't want to venture into very dangerous territory.

We're also on the lookout for cheap accommodations for $50 or less/night? We do drink and we're also looking for some nice dives to drink away at. Please help out if you can with recommendations. We'll be eternally grateful and have lots of foodie info for the Olympia/Tacoma/Seattle area if you need any. Thanks in advance.

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  1. You can get amazing food from local grocers and neighborhood restaurants. In the French Quarter, go to Verti Mart store for take-out. All of their food in the deli is great. Or split a Muffuletta sandwich from Central Grocery. Sami's Deli on Elysian Fields also offers a great value. Get the Trout Plate and Mac&Cheese. Merline's on Franklin Ave. has the best Roast Beef po-boy $$ less than the Quarter or Uptown.

    2 Replies
    1. re: gentillygal

      In the Warehouse District check out Nola Grocery. Not far from there is Parasol.

      1. re: gentillygal

        Great rec on Sammy's Deli. I just discovered it the other day. The baked beans are amazing and the rest of their sides are really good too.

      2. How much is the Southern/Soul Food buffet at Two Sister's Kitchen at 223 N Derbigny St? Seems like a mostly-locals place, so I imagine prices are pretty reasonable.

        1. I hope this thread gets some attention. In any case, St. Vincent's Guest House is the place to stay, no question about it. For eats, get up to Dunbar's at Loyola University, which is easy to do on the Streetcar. As you mentioned, almost all poorboys offer plenty of food for two, and the drop off between say Parkway Bakery and your run of the mill corner store is sight. There are a number of bars that offer great deals on food during happy hour. The Les Bon Ton Roulette has free oysters of Friday, Luke and Cote Brasserie have oyster happy hours, There is anew taco truck that is front of Dos Jefes on Magazine most nights, there is the tamale girl in the Fauborg Marigny. Mchardy's Fried Chicken on Broad. And the best deal in town, well the quarter at least is Moon Wok on St. Ann which has Bon mih sammy's for $3, or a huge bowl of pho real cheap also. How do you plan on gettiing around? You could look into getting a hold of some beater bike's, look around the bywater area, I believe there are some community type bike shops that have them for sale or rent.

          3 Replies
          1. re: CharlieH

            If you have a splurge night, the Boucherie on Jeanette Street has great value for dinner.

            1. re: CharlieH

              I would stay away from Dunbar's- it's on the Loyola Law campus and the food is generally pretty greasy (not in the good Southern way). However, if you can make it there on a Friday the seafood stuffed bell peppers and baked mac are both really good. The plate is about $10 with tax and it's definitely big enough to share.

              1. re: CharlieH

                Hey CharileH.

                Is there a specific reason why you said we should stay at St. Vincents? Have you stayed there before? Is it a safe neighborhood? We pretty much just need a decent bed and clean bathroom. Nothing too fancy. And what's the transport like from there to the French Quarter and Marigny? I checked bus schedules. They don't run past 11:30 or so at night. Should I be taking taxis to and from? If anyone knows prices for taxis and buses, please let me know.

                Thanks again.

              2. I've never been to Two Sisters at a time that they are having a buffet. I'm not sure that's something they do. However, they do have great plate lunches at very affordable prices, and you will have enough leftovers for at least one more meal if not more. The daily specials are usually very good and filling, like rabbit and dumplings, oxtail stew, stewed chicken, that kind of thing. You can walk there from the French Quarter.

                You can split a poboy pretty much everywhere and have plenty to eat for under $10. Throw in a couple bags of Zapp's and you'll definitely be full. Johnny's, Verti Mart, Quartermaster Deli, and the deli at the corner of Royal and St. Philip all have splittable sandwiches and plate lunches.

                Instead of good BBQ which isn't really worth the trouble to find during your short stay, split a huge burger and baked potato at Yo Mama's or Port of Call.

                Hit Moon Wok at Dauphine and St. Ann and for great banh mi ($3.50) and chargrilled pork. Skip the Chinese food there though and stick with the Vietnamese portion of the menu.

                Check out Bennachin for good West African food and good serving sizes at excellent prices for a little bit of a fancier dinner. You can BYOB too. Pick up whatever you want to drink at Vieux Carre Wine and Spirits on Chartres Street.

                Try Mena's Palace on Chartres for good plate lunches and decent breakfasts.

                For Caribbean you'll have to leave the Quarter and head to either Boswell's on Tulane or Coco Hut on Bayou Road. Google map them; you can get to either one on public transportation.

                Nice places to drink cheaply: the Chart Room on Chartres at Bienville, Erin Rose on Conti just off Bourbon, Johnny White's on St. Peter btw Bourbon and Royal, Harry's at Chartres and Dumaine, Flanagan's on St. Philip, etc. etc. etc. Pretty much any place on Decatur St. closer to the Esplanade end. And be sure to check out Frenchmen Street for bars and live music.

                You didn't mention if you'll have a vehicle. That would open up a whole other world of cheap eats options for you.

                4 Replies
                1. re: uptownlibrarian

                  And Finger Lick'n Wings, 739 Jackson Ave. And thanks for mentioning Boswell's and Coco Hut, hadn't heard of either. ch

                  1. re: uptownlibrarian

                    Also, catch the streetcar down to Loyola Univ and hit Dunbar's for lunch.

                    1. Both the Crescent City Tuesday farmers market Uptown (Broadway & the River) & the Saturday market in the CBD have vendors selling prepared foods. Tuesday has a green plate special always. You can take it and go eat at Audubon Park or out on the "Fly"
                      behind the zoo, where you can see Mississippi River traffic.

                      Charlie H is on target about the bikes. This would be a great way to get around.
                      Although NOLA drivers are not bike savvy so be careful. There's Gerken bikes on
                      St Claude & Port St. (across the street from the Marigny neighborhood), Bicycle Michaels on Frenchmen also in the Marigny. Plan B, the Bike project is on Chartres off Elysian Fields and they too are in the Marigny.

                      There are alot of B & B's (regular and under the radar) in the Marigny and Bywater. Plus you are walking distance to the French Qtr from the Marigny. So google around for that.